It was a chilly, cloudy Sunday morning. The type of Sunday morning that makes you realize that Summer is inevitably ending whether you like it or not. My mom has been talking about making dumplings and Chinese baos (Chinese buns) the entire week, and we finally got to make yesterday. It’s been a while since we made our own homemade dumplings and baos, and it was definitely worth all of the hard work.
The most difficult part of making dumplings and baos is making the filling. You have make sure that the filling you put inside the baos and dumplings is flavorful. Like how the broth makes or breaks a bowl of ramen, the filling makes or break the baos and dumplings. My mom premade the filling beforehand, so it was already cooked when we put it inside baos and dumplings. Pictured on the top right is a combination of ground pork, chives, and shirmp. Pictured on the bottom right is a combination of group pork, green onions, mushroom, and wood ear fungus. Both of the fillings were extremely tasty, but my favorite was the one with chives.
Making the dumplings is not so hard. You buy pre-made oval shaped dumpling skins. You scoop about 2/3 tbs of filling into a dumpling skin. Then rub water on the outer edges of the top half of the skin, and using your fingers bring the two halves of the dumpling skin together to seal off the dumpling. The trick is to seal them tightly or else the filling will spill out when you cook the dumpling.
You can either steam, boil, or fry the dumplings. I prefer them steamed, because it retains the flavor of the dumplings without all of the oil that comes with frying. They came out perfectly!
After making the dumplings we made Chinese baos. It is made with the same fillings as the dumplings. The hardest part in making baos is making the dough. We made the dough from scratch. After trial and error, with adding more water and then more flour, we had the airy, fluffy dough to make our baos. Unlike how you make the dumplings the dough was a little harder to work with, because it was a lot more delicate than the dumpling skin. We had to make sure that the filling was completely encased in the dough or else all the juices and filling would spill out.
After steaming this was the end result. The bread was slightly chewy on the outside and soft on the inside. The filling made for aromatic baos that were extremely flavorful.
What a wonderful day making dumplings and baos with my mom. I told her next week I want to try to make baked char siu baos (BBQ Pork buns). Let’s hope that comes out as well as these baos and dumplings did!
Leave a comment if you want additional information on how to make the dumplings and baos. You can make large quantities, freeze them, and eat them later on. Dumplings and baos for all!